[NAFEX] Shinko, etc comments again

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Nov 4 10:29:37 EDT 2010

Richard,  I think you have answered a large part of my question.  Shinko 
will have to be thinned to taste decent, and I don't like Asian pears well 
enough to do it.  Korean Giant, what's left of the tree after this year's 
fireblight attack, has made just a few large pears these last 2 years, so 
their superior flavor is partly due to the higher leaf to fruit ratio.
    I also note that Shinko only rates a 4 in taste testing at Corvallis. 
Burnt Ridge says it's late, and Joe Postman admits that late pears tend to 
get poor ratings at Corvallis because their season is too short for them. 
Burnt Ridge, north of Corvallis, says they are among the very best Asian 
pears.  That still doesn't sound like much of an endorsement, but I will try 
to severely thin at least one of the Shinko trees early next year while 
converting them to other varieties.  At least the 2 trees I have of it are 
not too big to work with.
    In my pear notebook (at home right now) I have listed the quality 
ratings for lots of Corvallis's blight resistant varieties.  The ratings run 
1-9, but they don't give a 9 to anything, and very very few of their 1,000 
varieties are given 8's.  These include Harrow Delight and Harvest Queen. 
David Lockwood says that these two did fine in Tenn till they started 
blooming, and then the blight got them.  But Hidden Springs still has one of 
them, Hector says it's Harvest Queen but the parentage didn't look like it 
offered much resistance, so I have assumed it was Harrow Delight till this 
weekend when I noticed the leaf descriptions were noticeably different 
between the 2.  I picked a few leaves, and they look more like HQ.  So we'll 
see.  I think I have a few years to wait.  Hidden Springs has so much 
trouble with late freezes, they can't tell me much about the fruit.  There 
are a number of FB resistant cultivars that have quite decent quality 
ratings.  They give a 7 to Okolo, a little known Asian pear that Hansen 
released.  I am extremely curious about that one, and plan to convert one of 
the Shinkos to it, based on it's description as "delicious flavor" and the 7 
rating.  I can hardly wait.  Pai Li is another one I'm interested in, 
Corvallis didn't rate it too high, but the description says that it's close 
to European pears in quality and much liked by Europeans.  It's also a late 
    What you say about leaf surface is very interesting.  Corvallis gave 
Atlantic Queen only a 3, but it's quite late.  I can't find out much about 
it, and it's one I grafted 3 years ago so I've had a bit more time to 
observe it.  It's grafted high on a Pineapple pear which has leaves to 
spare, so maybe I'll get a taste one day.  The fact is that despite it's 
fire blight resistant, it gets leaf spot really bad, and so the 3 bare AQ 
branches are obvious amid the leafy Pineapple branches.  I don't know about 
leaf spot at Corvallis, but Prof Drain's releases always had comments on 
leaf spot and which trees retained their leaves all summer.  I have seen 
Pineapple get it pretty bad in some wet summers, but most of the time it 
does fine.   The Pineapple is crisp like an Asian, but tart so I like it.  I 
have noticed that the Kieffer, rated only a 3 by Corvallis, can get pretty 
nice for eating out of hand some years, but other years it stays too sour. 
Maybe again, the amount of leaf surface per pear to make sugars?  Because it 
too is prone to overbearing.       Donna 

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